E4E’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
Our Beliefs: To achieve our vision and mission, we must embody the beliefs and practices that undo the causes of educational inequity: racism, classism and other forms of oppression. We believe every student deserves an equal opportunity to succeed and that race should never be an obstacle to one’s success. We believe that achieving our mission is a step toward dismantling systemic racism, and will require that we actively embody anti-racist practices in all of our work. Therefore, Educators for Excellence is commited to working as an anti-racist educational equity organization.
The Big Picture: Success in education is a major predictor of the lifelong outcomes of millions of American children. Our children are our future leaders and deserve our investment now. By fostering equity and anti-racism practices in education, we’re taking a critical step toward eradicating social injustice and advancing equity for all.
Multiple Levels of Change: We are devoted to dismantling racism in all forms throughout the educational landscape – in our schools, districts, unions, and wherever education decisions are made. Since we know racism plays out on multiple levels— individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic—we aim to understand, challenge, and combat racism at all levels. We know anti-racism is an ongoing practice – that there is no “end state,” but instead something that our staff and members work on every day.
Internal Practices: Within E4E, this means operationalizing our commitment in all of our work. This includes implementing more equitable personnel systems – from hiring to retention and promotions. It means ensuring our budgets and policies reflect this core value. It means that we ensure all of our staff are trained in foundational concepts of anti-racism and apply them in action within their unique positions. We recognize that we have room to grow and commit to looking inward for opportunities to change to better reflect our values.
External Impact: We explicitly center race within E4E’s teacher-led advocacy campaigns and aim to counter the pernicious impact of unequal opportunities afforded to Black students, Indigenous students, and other students of color. The educator population across this country remains majority white and far less racially diverse than our student population, so we recognize there is important work to be done ensuring educators recognize their own implicit biases and how these biases fuel continued racial opportunity gaps in America. We strive to build spaces for learning and collective action among our teacher members, who are dedicated to building more racially equitable classrooms, schools, and systems in their communities.
Our Commitment In Action
We aim to incorporate the following Anti-Racist practices into every aspect of our work.
- Rewrite the “Standard”: Redesign systems that allow for people to do things differently. We understand the standard was not designed inclusively, and needs to be revised so that it works for all.
- Clarify Impact on People: Determine who is benefiting and who is disadvantaged by the status quo. We recognize systems were designed to benefit and disadvantage specific populations. We can’t change systems until we clarify how people are impacted by them.
- Reverse Negative Impact: Tip the tables strategically. It’s not enough to call out the negative systemic effects on a group of people. We must implement shifts that level the playing field for those who were disadvantaged.
- Ruthlessly Check Alignment: Conduct equity audits regularly. We take ownership of our advocacy. Our work is not done until true equity is achieved. We will constantly analyze the data to ensure our tactics have a positive impact on our stakeholders.